Students Spend Transformative Summer on the U.S.-Mexico Border
By Anna C. Christensen | UA Health Sciences Office of Public Affairs | July 29, 2019
The FRONTERA summer program pairs UA students with mentors, giving them hands-on border-health research experience while building stronger applicants to medical school and graduate health sciences programs.
Eleven University of Arizona students aspiring to careers in health care and medical research received hands-on experience addressing health disparities in the U.S.-Mexico border region during an intensive 10-week paid internship.
FRONTERA, or Focusing Research on the Border Area, prepares Arizona’s future health care professionals and researchers to tackle the health challenges unique to the U.S.-Mexico border area, a mostly rural, bicultural region with interconnected communities on both sides of the border. Through service learning and research projects, they come face to face with the health disparities that affect the region.
According to U.S. Census data, nearly half of people residing in the four Arizona counties bordering Mexico are Native American or Latino. In response, the UA Health Sciences Office of Diversity and Inclusion has been managing FRONTERA since 2007, with the goal to increase — and diversify — the pipeline of future health-care providers and researchers.
“Our students are economically disadvantaged and first-generation college students,” said Lydia Kennedy, director of the UAHS Office of Diversity and Inclusion. “Many underrepresented students do not have mentors. This program creates effective mentoring relationships that help our students successfully navigate their health professions education and careers.”
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